Dr. Charles van Riper III

USGS Research Scientist and Professor 
USGS Southwest Biological Science Center Sonoran Desert

125 Biological Sciences East ~ University of Arizona ~Tucson, AZ 85721-125
(520) 626-7027 ~ (520) 670-5100 fax


        
Read More About Dr. van Riper  ~ Visit his Research Lab & Students

Graduate Students
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Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences - School of Natural Resources - University of Arizona
125 Biological Sciences East - Tucson, AZ 85721 -

PHOTOS of Field Work, Research, and other fun stuff

Chris McCreedy

 

M.S. Candidate
email

Resume

Chris obtained a B.S. in Resource Ecology Management (focus on Forest Ecology) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1998. Two days after graduation, he traveled to New Mexico to study Bell's Vireos and was forever altered. He has worked in the Eastern Sierra for the Point Reyes Bird Observatory since 1999, and has led PRBO's Mojave and Sonoran Desert projects since 2003. He's moved to the van Riper lab in Tucson to refine his study design and analysis skills, and to get the field data out. He is just finished working at the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, on a study of catastrophic fire impacts on breeding and migrant songbirds of the Sonoran Desert and is writing up a paper on climate impacts on Mojave bird nesting.
Jherime L. Kellermann

 

Ph.D. 2013

email

Resume

 

Jherime completed a multiple major program in 1998 at Pennsylvania State University with degrees in anthropology and psychology. From 1998 – 2001 he worked with the USGS on the Puaiohi Recovery Project (now Kauai Forest Bird Project) in the Alakai Wilderness of Kauai, HI. From 2002 – 2008 he worked with Redwood Sciences Lab and Klamath Bird Observatory, monitoring birds and their habitats throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of northern California and southern Oregon.  In 2007 he obtained a Masters in Wildlife from Humboldt State University. Jherime's research at HSU examined the ecological and economic services of birds on Jamaican coffee farms. He found that birds significantly reduced coffee berry borer pest levels, an ecosystem service valued at $44-105 US per hectare.  Jherime has also been involved with research on Mexican Spotted Owls, Bahama Parrots, American Dippers, and Aleutian Cackling Geese.  His current research at University of Arizona is examining the temporospatial distribution of migratory birds across the large elevational and ecological gradients of the Madrean Archipelago in southeast Arizona and the potential impacts of climate change on the relationships between avian migration, plant phenology, and the quality and availability of stopover habitat. Jeherime completed his PhD in January 2013 and now workwith the National Phenology Network in Tucson, AZ.  When not involved in research, Jherime has been exploring cultures and ecology in Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Borneo, and China.
Miguel Villarreal
 

Mendenhall Post-doctoral Student  email

Resume

Miguel completed his PhD in the Dept of Geography at the University of Arizona in 2008.  He is presently a US Geological Survey Mendenhall Post-doctoral Fellow.  As a post-doctoral student with Dr. van Riper he completed work on the Barry M Goldwater Bombing Range (West) inventory and monitoring plan pdf.  He is now working on mapping Yellow-billed Cuckoos and other studies on the San Pedro and Santa Cruz rivers in southern Arizona.

 
Glenn Johnson

M.S. 2010

email

Glenn finally completed his Masters of Science degree with the Wildlife and Fisheries Science Program in the School of Natural Resources, University of Arizona. His goal was to understand and utilize the scientific process in wildlife ecology research, and effectively apply my knowledge in order to conduct meaningful field studies that will inform wildlife management and conservation practices. Research focuses on modeling bird distribution and diversity on the upper San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona and northern Sonora, especially in relation to the vegetative and hydrological influences of the thriving beaver population that was re-introduced to the area in 1999 and 2000. Glen now lives and works as a biological consultant in Oregon.  He is still working on several publications from his masters research.

Levi Jamison Levi Jamison Collections

M.S. Candidate
 
After receiving a B.S. in Environmental Biology from Fort Lewis College in 2006, Levi began studying the newly introduced tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda carinulata). His work largely transformed into a geographic experience as he helped track beetles as they spread across most of the Colorado Plateau. Becoming interested in more detailed research focused on the colonization dynamics of the beetle, Levi began a Master's of Science program at the University of Arizona in 2010. His studies now focus on modeling the colonization patterns of D. carinulata across big rivers and landscapes, with the hope that his research will better help mangers make informed decisions concerning tamarisk and the presence of the beetle.
 
Michael Lester 
M.S. 2013   

Michael studied the cascading effects of environmental contaminants on the Song Sparrow along the Santa Cruz River drainage, from the headwaters at Lochiel, into Mexico, then back through Nogales into southern Arizona.

Karla Pelz-Serrano

M.S.-PhD 2010

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Resume

Karla is originally from Mexico; she obtained her B.S. in Biology from the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro in Queretaro, Mexico in 2004. For the past four years she has been working on projects in ecology and the conservation of mammals, such as volunteering for The Northern Jaguar Project, and studying beavers, coyotes and black bears in the Sierra de San Luis, Sonora. Recently, she has been working for the Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation of Wildlife at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) on the “Janos la Ultima Pradera” project, first as a field technician and now as a volunteer. Her work on this project has been focused on the ecology and conservation of black tailed prairie dogs and American porcupines and monitoring reintroduced black footed ferrets. Karla was pursuing a M.S. in Wildlife Management and Conservation at the University of Arizona, and has matriculated to the PhD program. Her goals are to apply all the scientific knowledge she gains in her graduate work to generate management plans for the conservation of the natural resources at a transnational scale. Her master’s research focuses on the effects of isolation on the conservation and population genetic structure of beaver populations in the Cajon Bonito River, Sonora (Mexico) and the San Pedro River, Arizona (U.S.). Her research has important implications for future management plans for the conservation of the beaver, which is in danger of extinction in Mexico, and for the riparian ecosystems in which beavers are important ecosystems engineers.

      Sarah Puckett

 

 

M.S.  2013

email 

Sarah obtained a B.S. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 2008. Over the course of the following year, Sarah worked for the California Wolf Center, a member of the Mexican Wolf Species Survival Plan (SSP) captive management program. While there, she conducted educational tours and took part in wildlife handling and chemical immobilization training.  Concurrently, she volunteered with the Wildlife Research Institute in Ramona, CA, catching and banding local raptors for educational presentations to the public.  Sarah’s research addressed the degree to which breeding birds along the Dolores River, CO, consume the Tamarisk beetle.  The beetle, introduced as a biological control agent for the introduced Tamarix, deters the invasive shrub through defoliation.  Tamarix is prevalent along many southwestern waterways and is currently a target for management and removal.

Abigail "Abby" Darrah

 

Post-Doc   
Former Students and Associates
Kristina Ecton Paxton
 
M.S. Degree

Website

Kristina ( formerly Ecton) Paxton was a graduate student with Dr. van Riper at Northern Arizona University where she received her MS degree. Her thesis focused on the use of stable hydrogen isotopes to examine Wilson's warbler migration dynamics in the southwest. She has completed a PhD program at Southern Mississippi State University, and is living and teaching in Hilo, Hawaii.

 

 

Chris O'Brien   Ph.D.

Resume

Chris received a B.S. in Zoology from Northern Arizona University in 1996. After graduating, he remained in Flagstaff and worked at NAU and at the Colorado Plateau Research Station until 2002 when he started a Ph.D. in the Department of Biology with Dr. van Riper. He move in 2003 to Tucson along with Dr. van Riper to complete his Ph.D., studying the community implications of parasite host interactions in a desert spring system in Central Arizona.  He is currently living and organic farming in Portland, Oregon.
TJ Fontaine

 

Postdoctoral Fellow

Email

Website

TJ obtained a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from The University of Montana in 1997, and his Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries from The University of Montana in 2006. Over his tenure as a wildlife biologist TJ has examined questions relating to avian life history evolution and behavioral ecology on three continents. He was working as a postdoctoral fellow examining the patterns of migration and stopover ecology in Neotropical migrants. Specifically, he was interested in identifying major migratory pathways and sources of selection acting on stopover site selection. By understanding how birds move from winter grounds to breeding grounds and the obstacles they face along the way, we can better understand their evolution and subsequently their management. Currently he an Assistant Coop Unit Leader with the USGS at the Univ. of Nebraska.
Claire Crow

M.S. 2006 

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Resume

Claire obtained a B.S. in Biology from Southern Connecticut State University in 1992, and completed a M.S. in Wildlife Management and Conservation at the University of Arizona. Since 1995, most of her work has been in the federal service and she is presently a SCEP student. Claire conducted her thesis research at Zion National Park and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah, and at Walnut Canyon National Monument and the surrounding Coconino National Forest in Arizona. She investigated relationships between vegetation characteristics and bird community dynamics in pinyon-juniper woodlands. Her field sites included areas previously treated with chaining, previously treated by hand-cutting, and untreated areas. Additionally, the project includes an examination of pre- and post- treatment data collected from a hand-cut site at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Her research applies directly to future decision-making and the evaluation of current practices in fire management and pinyon-juniper restoration. She was the Wildlife Program Manager at Zion National Park in Utah, and is now with the BLM as Manager of the Ironwood National Monument.

Alyssa (House) Rosemartin

M.S.

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Resume

Alyssa grew up outside of Philadelphia. She received her BA from Smith College in Spanish and Environmental Science in 2000. She served in the Peace Corps in northwestern Nicaragua, in the environmental education sector, from 2000-02. She has also worked at the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory in Colorado, in education and research. She spent the past year interning at CEDO (the Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans) in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. Her master’s thesis addressed the conservation and biology of shorebirds in the Upper Gulf of California wetlands. As well as being important migratory stopover habitat, these estuaries are also a key breeding area for endangered Least Terns. She is currently employed in the Phenology Network program at the University of Arizona.
     
 

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